Slumping Stoke part company with Hughes

Martin O'Neill and Eamon Dunphy

Stoke City have fired manager Mark Hughes after the relegation-threatened Premier League team were beaten 2-1 by fourth-tier Coventry City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday (Sunday NZT).

The limp nature of Stoke's FA Cup exit proved the final straw as Hughes was axed three hours after the final whistle at the Ricoh Arena.

Hughes was sacked by chief executive Tony Scholes at Stoke's training ground after returning from Coventry.

"Stoke City can confirm that the contract of manager Mark Hughes has been terminated with immediate effect", the club said in a statement on their official Twitter feed.

Hughes was in charge at the bet365 Stadium for four and a half years, leading the Potters to three successive ninth-place finishes in the top flight.

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A run of five defeats in seven Premier League games also contributed to Hughes' departure and he leaves with the club in the relegation zone.

Taking the time to greet guests is another of that vintage, Steve Ogrizovic, these days the goalkeeping coach and still one of the first into work at the club he helped make famous.

The beleaguered boss suffered third-round embarrassment as Jack Grimmer struck to hand the Sky Blues a 2-1 win.

Hughes looked to be on borrowed time when he rested all his established players for a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea in a bid to keep them fresh for a match against Newcastle.

"At the moment we don't want to discuss Premier League games, but maybe when we wake up on Monday the reality clearly has to be our league form". It just highlights we need to do better'.

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